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Football Victoria reveal plans for return to play

The Victorian Government has announced more support for grassroots through the Sporting Club Grants Program.

Football Victoria (FV) has released a plan detailing how the remaining games of the 2021 season will be completed once restrictions are lifted, and they are asking for feedback in regards to two different scenarios for completing the State League and National Premier League seasons.

FV has put forward two options. The season will either be extended into November to ensure that the entire season is completed, or only two more games will be played before teams enter the playoffs for promotion and relegation.

Option 1 for Men’s State League and National Premier League
Option 2 for Men’s State League and National Premier League

FV CEO Kimon Taliadoros addressed in a statement on August 17 that FV was committed to ensuring that the season is completed in a satisfactory manner.

“When the lockdown ends, we’ll be ready to assist Clubs to get back out playing as quickly as possible, as much as possible. We will be vigilant in working with government, councils and our clubs to provide a COVID safe and compliant environment for any of our activities,” he said.

“Further detail will be shared on these arrangements as we approach September 3, the current lockdown end date. These plans include exploring alternative competition options as well as the possibility of a season extension, double-header weekends and for some competitions, mid-week matches.”

Option 1 for Women’s State League and National Premier League
Option 2 for Women’s State League and National Premier League

The 2020-21 junior season will be extended until September 19, subject to when teams can return to play after the Victoria-wide lockdown has ended.

Juniors and MiniRoos (U7-U21)

Junior games will be fixtured on both Saturday and Sunday to ensure catch up games are completed.

FV has agreed a facility sharing agreement with Cricket Victoria for September, however decisions involving facility access still remain with local councils.

Men’s metropolitan and masters

Regional areas, which are out of the state wide lockdown, have returned to play.

Taliadoros added the return to play in regional areas was an example of how quickly football is able to return once restrictions are lifted.

“For those in regional Victoria, we’re so, so pleased you are carrying the torch for football and Futsal in our state. As hard as it is for metro participants to miss matches, it is heartening to see the vision from regional Victoria of a more COVID-normal way of life,” he said.

“Your excitement is infectious and seeing you living and loving football uplifts us all. Please keep sharing your magic moments each week.”

The full document and details can be downloaded here.

You can leave feedback for Football Victoria at the following links:

FIFA and Mexican Football Federation’s Supercopa Femenil to encourage growth in women’s football

FIFA

With the financial support of FIFA, the Mexican Football Federation has launched the FIFA | FMF Supercopa Femenil (Women’s Super Cup) as part of its women’s football development programme.

The five-day U-15 tournament (between 3-7 August) organised in Toluca, provided 206 players across 12 teams from Nuevo León, Tlaxcala, Chiapas, Mexico City, Sinaloa, Jalisco, Veracruz, Guanajuato, Estado de México, Baja California, Chihuahua, as well as a representative team from the United States, with an opportunity to have their talents detected by scouts from both Liga MX, and the Mexican national teams.

FIFA will provide technical support, equipment and funding for two years, as well as education and empowerment through seminars for coaches.

The FIFA’s Women’s Development Programme aims to provide all 211 member associations with the opportunity to apply for, and access additional resources and specialist expertise to develop women’s football at a national level.

Member associations can apply for support across eight key areas of women’s football development during the 2020-2023 period. In addition to financial assistance to cover the costs in selected programmes, the FIFA Women’s Development Programme will also provide access to women’s football experts, additional equipment and technical support within FIFA.

“The Supercopa Femenil was born from the dream of bringing Mexican youth players to a competitive showcase for women’s football in our country, attracting the best academies that are supporting the development of players in this category. This has resulted in a life-changing experience to be scouted by national team staff, and those of Liga MX Femenil teams,” Lucia Mijares, FMF Technical Sports Development Director, said in a statement.

Andrea Rodebaugh, FIFA Women’s Football Consultant, added via FIFA:

“Observing the Supercopa Femenil in Mexico has been inspirational. Its implementation is helping strengthen pathways by showcasing talent, motivating players and coaches as well as sharing knowledge and unique experiences so that growth continues where needed. There is so much talent, potential and support from everyone in the FMF. I am very optimistic for the future.”

Karl Dodd, FIFA Women’s Football Expert, stated via FIFA:

“The Supercopa has been well organised and provides a great opportunity for players to gain experience playing against top teams in their age group. It also enables scouts to watch these players, and for coaches to undertake development workshops to further improve the positive impact they have on players, supporting their personal and professional development.”

EA Sports to be the title sponsor for all LaLiga competitions

EA Sports & LaLiga

Beginning from the 2023-24 season onwards, a new multi-year agreement between EA Sports and LaLiga will pave the way for new experiences, deeper in-game integrations, enhanced broadcast communications, and commitment to grassroots initiatives.

The one-of-a-kind, multi-year partnership will allow both parties to deliver groundbreaking experiences for global football fans, with EA SPORTS FC securing title naming rights for all LaLiga competitions.

In addition, the deal will see a complete rebrand of LaLiga with EA Sports including all logos, graphics, fonts and other visual elements, while also delivering new in-game integration, broadcast highlights, and joint commitments to supporting grassroots initiatives.

This new partnership will encompass the first and second divisions of LaLiga (Spain’s top professional football competitions), LaLiga Promises (the league’s annual youth tournament) and eLaLiga.

“EA Sports FC is committed to delivering the most authentic and immersive experiences in global football. Our innovative new partnership with LaLiga further elevates that ambition and solidifies both organizations’ position at the centre of football culture,” David Jackson, VP Brand, EA Sports FC, said in a statement.

“The visible reach and scale of this partnership is deeply exciting, as is the opportunity to deliver incredible experiences for fans through in-game innovation, interactive entertainment and grassroots initiatives.

“EA Sports represents the cutting edge of interactive football experiences while LaLiga is at the forefront of actual football competitions with unmatched in-person, broadcast and digital fan experiences,” said Javier Tebas, President, LaLiga. “We have been strategic partners with EA Sports for years and this expanded agreement is a commitment to providing the next level of innovation to all football fans, a fusion between the virtual and real worlds of football.”

With this partnership, EA Sports and LaLiga will deepen their collaboration. Both LaLiga and EA Sports are committed to grassroots initiatives to grow the game which will include increasing accessibility, upgrading facilities, and many more initiatives to truly immerse fans into the world of football.

“This partnership with EA Sports is set to truly transform the way football is enjoyed around the world,” LaLiga Executive Director Óscar Mayo said via EA Sports.

“Moreover the alliance demonstrates LaLiga is a global brand, evidence of the success of our league to connect with fans internationally.

“We’re thrilled to partner with a worldwide leader in football fandom to better connect our fans to their favourite clubs, players, and LaLiga competitions,” said Nick Wlodyka, SVP & GM, EA Sports FC. “The contributions from LaLiga to our EA Sports FC portfolio will be immense, not only from a visual aspect, but across technological and game development improvements, further blurring the lines between the real and virtual worlds of football.”

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